September 20, 2017

DIY Chic Skull Vases

Every fall it seems like Halloween creeps up on us before we know it, so this year we really wanted to get ahead of the game with our decor. There’s nothing worse than reaching the end of October and realizing you didn’t even have a chance to put out your pumpkins!

For our most recent Halloween Party in a Box photoshoot, I wanted to add some details to the table. Seri had these old, ugly skulls laying around and I knew they just wouldn’t fit into our decor selection. So instead, I transformed them into chic Halloween-y vases!

Here’s what you will need:

Hallow plastic skulls, made of a softer plastic
Exacto Knife
Black, white, and metallic spray paint
Krazy glue
Masking tape

Step 1: Carefully use your Exacto knife to cut into the top of the skull. Make sure the skull is standing upright and the hole is directly on top, where the flowers will stand straight.

Step 2: Bring your skulls outside and give them a base coat of spray paint. We started with black, but you can really use any color scheme you’d like!

Step 3: After drying, decorate! We made one skull sparkly, using krazy glue and sparkles to create a “dripping” effect.

We created one ombre effect by lightly spraying white paint from directly above.

Finally, we used the masking tape to block off sections of black and cover the open spots with silver paint.

And, voila! A perfect addition to our Halloween table.


xx, Maggie
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September 19, 2017

Apple Cider Sangria

In case you missed it yesterday, Maggie and I talked all about our housewarming party that we threw for our new apartment on the blog yesterday.  One of the aspects of the party that we highlighted was the signature cocktail that I made to serve to our guests, Apple Cider Sangria.

I chose this cocktail because not only is sangria super easy to make and serve, but it uses seasonally appropriate ingredients as well!

Here’s what you need:
-fresh apple cider
-white wine (we used Pinot Grigio)
-ginger ale
-fresh apples
-fresh oranges
-cinnamon sticks

Here’s what to do:
1) Chop up the fresh oranges and apples and put into a pitcher. Add a few cinnamon sticks.

2) On top of fruit and cinnamon sticks, add a full bottle of white wine.

3) Top with apple cider, filling your pitcher a little more than 3/4 of the way.
4) Use a stirrer to combine the ingredients.  Top pitcher with ginger ale.

5) Cover your pitcher with plastic wrap and leave in fridge for at least an hour.
6) After letting sit, uncover and serve! Garnish each glass with a few slices of apples and a cinnamon stick.

This sangria was a huge hit amongst our guests.  There are not many people who don’t enjoy apple cider in the Fall!

Until next week… Cheers!

xx, Abby
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September 18, 2017

Abby & Maggie’s Housewarming Party

Some of you may not know that in addition to working together, Maggie and I are also roommates! As of July 1st, we share a beautiful apartment in Astoria, one that we have obsessively decorated and made as cozy as possible.

We had a crazy summer of work and traveling, so we decided to host a housewarming party at the beginning of September, which gave us plenty of time to settle in.

As event planners, we know just how expensive these parties can become. We’re in our mid twenties and living in NYC, so you can imagine it was our top priority to throw this party on a budget. For under $200, we had small bites, dessert, cocktails, and decor. We promise, if we can do it, so can you!

One of the most important elements of a good party is a killer cocktail.  To welcome people to our new home, Maggie and I decided to serve a seasonal Apple Cider Sangria.  This drink is as simple as it gets, and only requires a couple of ingredients, all of which are very affordable.

Full recipe for this Sangria will be on the blog tomorrow!

Even though our party was later in the evening after most people eat dinner, Maggie wanted to provide a charcuterie board and some desserts for everyone to snack on.

What’s her secret to making a killer meat and cheese plate on a budget? TRADER JOE’S! They have an amazing selection of meats, cheeses, and crackers. Plus, she always buys extra things like grapes, dried fruits, and mini tomatoes to fill in all the extra spaces.

We also brought our favorite cocktail plates from the Little Miss Party in a Box website and added some bamboo forks for people to pick at the charcuterie.

Maggie also filled up the table with chocolate covered pretzels, homemade Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, and Browned Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies. Baking desserts at home is a great way to save on cost- even if you just use a box mix! Prep everything the night before, and your guests will have some sweet bites to snack on.

For additional decor elements, we strung up our favorite copper firefly lights and Natalie helped up to make this adorable DIY banner.

Natalie also offered to provide us with her amazing floral arranging skills. Maggie picked out 2 bundles of fall dahlias at the Union Square Farmers market, and had Natalie mix them with some eucalyptus and a fall bouquet from Trader Joe’s. We had small arrangements all over the apartment in old vases and mason jars, and they were the perfect finishing touch to the decor.

As the finishing touch, we set up a tapestry in my room as a photo backdrop and provided an Instax polaroid camera for people to take photos.  We set up a cork board so people could either take their photos home, or leave them for us to keep to remember the party.

We could not be happier with the way that our housewarming turned out, and are so happy that we were able to make it happen in such an affordable way!

Special thanks to Natalie for all of your hard work in helping us bring it to life.

Abby & Maggie

xx, Abby
Party conversation
  1. Mary

    What a gorgeous party, and on such an affordable budget! The decor, fairy lights, food, and flowers all compliment each other in color and texture – its all so perfect! Thanks for sharing, it definitely gives some inspiring ideas!

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September 15, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

The issue with having a garden in your backyard is keeping up with the endless amounts of provisions you reap if you are lucky enough to have a good growing season. Enter Steve. He is out there on a daily basis picking reaping the benefits of what he has tended to all summer long.

The majority of the time, he ends up eating half of the ripe tomatoes the second he picks them off the vines and then comes in swinging another baseball bat size zucchini which really has no place for me to store in the kitchen. Those zucchs are really great to use in so many recipes during the summer.

I bet you didn’t know that you can freeze shredded zucchini. Neither did I until I saw it on Pinterest the other day.

There was one zucchini in particular that was sitting and staring at me from the kitchen counter. It was literally driving me crazy to look at because, I mean, really? It didn’t go with the new decor. In fact, zucchinis don’t go with ANY decor.

We have a giant fridge but there was no room for this sucka anywhere inside of it. Why? Because this guy had too many brothers and sisters that were already occupying the space reserved for humongous vegetables. It looked exactly like the Goodyear Blimp and each time I saw it on the counter, I cringed. I finally had enough and said “off with his head (and butt)”.

I threw the whole thing into my food processor and shredded it until I could no longer recognize it’s similarity to a big flying balloon.

So what was I going to do with all this zucchini?


I had all the makings of a chocolate banana bread within my reach and I figured why not just add in the zucchini for a “healthy factor”. Who am I kidding? Between the chocolate and sugar, this wasn’t super “good for you” but it sure was delish and rated on a scale of +10 according to those who tasted tested it. Once again, I threw in substitute ingredients that really should have been other things but somehow this came out just fine.

Example 1:

I used 45% dark chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips for the guts.

Example 2:

I didn’t really need to throw in a banana, yes I know I said it was a chocolate banana bread but I had to change the title due to the fact that I used half a banana in the recipe. Otherwise, it would have just been called a chocolate zucchini bread. It was a last minute entry from the fridge before it hit the garbage. Gawd I love dead bananas. Oh and by the way, if I had a whole banana I would have most definitely added it in but half was better than nothing.

Example 3:

I used a small container of blueberry greek yogurt instead of plain greek yogurt because I didn’t have any and I certainly wasn’t running to the market to get a large container when I only needed a 1/4 of a cup.

My motto is “use what you’ve got otherwise it will rot”.

What’s the worse thing that could happen? Usually nothing.

Here’s what transpired when I sent a text out to my three boys with a picture of this bread. One of them dropped everything and came up to the house to ensure the gets at least two pieces. The other two were delivered the balance this week and my eldest said “that bread should be illegal”.

If you want to hide your zucchini and puddles of chocolate, this ones for you.


– 1½ cups grated zucchini
– 1 cup all purpose flour
– ¼ teaspoon baking powder
– ¾ teaspoon baking soda
– ¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips (I used mini)
– 1 bar dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
– ½ cup good quality cocoa powder
– ½ cup white sugar
– 2 large eggs
– ¼ teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– ¼ cup vegetable oil
– ¼ cup GREEK yogurt
– ½ ripe banana, mashed

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a loaf pan by lining with parchment paper or nonstick spray. In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together with chocolate chunks. In another bowl whisk together sugar,eggs,vanilla, yogurt, oil & mashed banana. Mix until smooth.
2) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until blended. Don’t overmix. Add in Zucchini and mix until the Zucchini is dispersed evenly throughout the batter. Place batter into loaf pan and spread out evenly. Take chocolate chips and sprinkle over batter, press them in lightly with your hand.
3) Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

xx, Debi
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September 14, 2017

Let’s play with the table

Rosh Hashanah is next week and my favorite part about hosting our family over for this Jewish holiday dinner is setting the table. Now that I have built up a collection of tableware, napkins and glassware I have a few options to play with.

Today I’m playing with a few of my favorite tableware combinations. Once I determine my tableware, I can come up with a plan for flowers, name cards and a fun signature drink.

Table setting #1: I love the black base here, makes the white marble plate pop right off the table. The copper utensils are to die for and the yellow pop is just perfect. I would pair this setting with low copper bud vases with fresh white and deep purple florals. Some tall taper candles in glass votives will round out the table nicely providing soft lighting across the table.

Table setting #2: Totally obsessed with the mint + pink color combo not to mention the kaleidoscope utensils. Be still my heart. With this setting I would use bright white vases with pink, white and green florals. A set of small glass dishes or cubes with pillar candles will round out the setting well.

Table setting #3: Most definitely for the winter holidays, this tartan clad setting screams LET’S CELEBRATE! For this setting I would create a table runner out of leafy greens such as pine needles and Italian Ruscus. Pinecones would look gorgeous styled within along with some shallow gold bowls of ornaments.

Table setting #4: How about paper? Faux pas? NO! I love it. Makes for an easy clean up and with the right assortment can look super chic. You know we have a shop where we sell tons of stunning paper products so your table can look just like ours right?

Have any amazing table setting tips to share with us? Please do so in the comments!  We would love to hear.

xx, Seri
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